Social Aspects of Pitch Perfect
Pitch Perfect may seem like a typical feel good chick flick, but there are actually a lot of social themes throughout the movie when analyzed with a sociological lens. This movie is filled with social stereotypes, intersectionality, and examples of application of power.
For those of you that have not seen Pitch Perfect, I will provide a brief summary of the movie. The main character is Beca and she is attending her first year of college at Barden University. Her first day of college she is encouraged to join the Barden Bellas, an a cappella female singing group that is desperate for new members. At first she resists, but after pressure to get involved from her dad, she ends up joining the team. Throughout the movie the Barden Bellas compete against the Treble Makers who are the male a cappella group at the University.
The social stereotypes in the movie are evident mainly within the Barden Bella group. I will first start with Cynthia Rose. From the information I was given in the movie I was able to determine Cynthia Rose's social location to be African-American, female, and lesbian. Pitch Perfect stereotyped this character's race by having her be the rapper in the group, and they stereotyped her sexual orientation by having her dress and look like a boy. Another character in the movie is Lily. I was able to determine her social location as Asian-American and female. This movie stereotyped her race by having her be the quiet girl that no one could understand when she spoke. Although stereotypes in cinema are usually a comical strategy, in real life judging people by their stereotypes can be detrimental to society.
Intersectionality is a concept in sociology that refers to the blending of different social identities. For example there may be two females, but if the two females are from different races they are going to have much different experiences. This plays a role in Pitch Perfect because all of the members of the group are female, but because they have other social locations that differ, they have much different experiences from each other. For example, the main character Beca is a white female, and the character Fat Amy is also a white female. Although they experience the same race and gender, they do not experience the same ability in Pitch Perfect. Beca is a much better singer than Fat Amy and therefore has more opportunities musically throughout the movie.
The final aspect of sociology I was able to find in Pitch Perfect is the application of power. I was able to identify tradition authority and charismatic authority in the characters Aubrey and Beca. Aubrey is the senior captain on the team who gains the identity of traditional authority because she is the next in line for captain, and becasue no one questions her authority. Aubrey likes to keep the Barden Bellas looking fit and proper, and singing traditional female empowering songs. Then there is Beca, who identifies as the Charismatic authority because she is new to the team and has talent and fresh new ideas that challenge Aubrey's authority. The group likes Beca and her ideas better than Aubrey but yet they continue to listen to Aubrey throughout the Movie.
Although Pitch Perfect seems like a girly film with lots of song and dance, when analyzed with a sociological lens you can really apply a lot of concepts and ideas from lecture throughout the film.
Sociological Movie Review: Pitch Perfect